Månedlige arkiver: april 2014

▶ Wired for Culture: The natural history of human cooperation – YouTube

See on Scoop.itDigitallearning

*Please be aware that there are some images used in this talk of a violent nature. Mark Pagel, one of the world’s leading experts on human evolution and deve…

Bodil Hernesvold‘s insight:

Our best hope for the future is to create more interdependencies, more links, more cooperation. Humans have a capacity for culture (unlike all other species). We have a dual nature, though; we are good, friendly, protecting our group, but we can also be cruel and xenophobic.


(On the curriculum for the Literacy of Cooperation course)

See on

Legg igjen en kommentar

Skrevet av den 28. april 2014 i Ukategorisert


Studying Literacy of Cooperation. Some thoughts before embarking.

penguins: cooperating to keep warm photo by lin padgham on Flickr.



As I have recently joined a course in «Literacy of Cooperation» lead by Howard Rheingold (author of the before mentioned book about how to thrive online – Net Smart), I would like to share some thoughts on what I am about to dig into. I have just watched a taped lecture about  cooperation in biology and evolution:  The lecturer, Peter Corning at Stanford University, explains how cooperation and synergies are part of, and not contrary to, evolution. He aslo claims that this was acknowledged by Darwin, but overseen by many after him. Before the first online meeting this week (!), I need to organise some thoughts on this. Hopefully, new knowledge and new perspectives will clarify a few things, too. You can find a lot of free material if you visit Rheingolds wiki.

OK, so what do we have here. I can pick out a few key words from this material and see if it makes any sense to me:

– are humans competitive to the extent that we only act according to self interest?

– the struggle for survival is ongoing – not a singel event

– competition may also involve cooperation

– synergy is the effect of, not synonyous with, cooperation. Synergy is «responsible for cooperation in nature, not the other way around» (this part I really did not get)

– cooperation is any kind of relationship between two or more parts, and it produces combined effects

– does cooperation then exist within species, or also between species?

– there are different kinds of synergies, such as scale, division of labour, functional complementarity

– cooperation is a survival strategy, and a multi-level phenomenon

– the sum of the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts, but it is different

– the future; cooperative effects is a key to understanding our evolutionary future

I have been wondering why this biological, evolutionary perspective has been added to a course about cooperation. Does this have consequences for us, does it explain some of our behaviour? What can we learn from this? I am not sure yet. I have just assumed that technology is an aspect in the future of cooperation.

What I do know, though, is that it has sparked some new ideas in how I view cooperation in the classroom: When I went to school, I usually dreaded any kind of cooperation as it usually ment a lot of cost on my behalf, and very little added effect. (Peter Corning also talked about costs and benefits to all the participants.) When  my students are asked to cooperate, the usually seek the same partners, and some prefer working on their own most of the time. They avoid risks. Many students even find that their individual work gives excellent results in terms of grades. My question is, then – why should they cooperate if they are successful on their own? Do we need it for the future? Is group vs individual orientation something cultural, something taught, or something genetic?

Lots of very vague questions here. I have decided to try reading more material and look forward to meeting with my co-learners. Also, I am quite nervous as I have very little experience in this kind of work and have absolutely no clue who 28 out of 29 co-learners are (education, work, age, nationality etc). During 6 weeks there will be live video sessions, forums, blogs and so on. As well as learning new stuff (theory?), I am curious about the work methods and realise that the organisation and co-learning aspect must be entwined with the content and topics, too (so maybe this is where the technology is brought forward).

A last thought: I am working on an exam paper at the Smart learning course and one of our perspectives there is to what extent teachers and leaders (in school) see themselves as learners, or even co-learners. What can teachers learn from students? If a teacher sees herself as a learner (as well as competent, educated), what effect does that have on her students?I think just the very idea of «not having all the answers» is crucial here. If we seek new knowledge, more interesting things can happen. Right now, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to widen my horizons, and I am confident that it will help me develop as a teacher, too.




Culture Shock: Punctuality – YouTube

See on Scoop.itnovelsiread

BBC Report on time keeping and punctuality in different cultures

Bodil Hernesvold‘s insight:

This video does not fit into my lists, really, but I enjoyed it and must keep it. It gives a brief intro to how time is seen in some cultures. Perhaps the concept of punctuality is changing, too? How does the constant access to mobile phones affect us, for instance?

See on

Legg igjen en kommentar

Skrevet av den 22. april 2014 i Ukategorisert


All about MOOCs | University Affairs

See on Scoop.itDigitallearning

Whether you see them as a catalyst for change or mostly as hype, MOOCs are fundamentally different from other forays into open online learning.

Bodil Hernesvold‘s insight:

On my reading list.

See on

Legg igjen en kommentar

Skrevet av den 21. april 2014 i Ukategorisert


The Wall of 100 Faces – University of Oxford

See on Scoop.itDigitallearning

The Wall of 100 Faces, 100 short films of Oxford students

Bodil Hernesvold‘s insight:

Dig into some of these videos of Oxford students, talking about some of their experiences. Do they have anything in common?  If you were to make your own, what would you say?

See on

Legg igjen en kommentar

Skrevet av den 21. april 2014 i Ukategorisert


Learning to learn?


My English class has approximately three lessons (double or triple) available and I have left this competence aim in particular for these lessons: «locate, elaborate on and discuss international educational options and employment options». As I have started working for a new MOOC in «Smart learning» at NTNU, I would like to grab the opportunity to try out new forms and also new aims for our learning. Based on the competence aim, obviously, but with emphasis on education, I will suggest the following mini-project for my students

General questions:

1. Which educational options do you see for yourselves in the English speaking world?

2. Why would young people want to study abroad? What are the advantages, and what are possible disadvantages?

3. Which learning strategies have you developed during your years in high school? How can you develop your strategies further?

4. What is the importance of cultural codes? What are the cultural codes or norms of your group of students?

Each group must form a collaborative forum using to share texts and some other means of communication. They can pick texts from our Text book (Global Paths, Cappelen Damm), chapter 3. They should make sure they understand and are able to use the following terms (in the context of education)

graduation – schedule – newcomer – senior – college – high school – exchange student – age appropriate – detention – objectionalble – suspention – infractions – competitive – reputation – biased – extra curricular activities – applicants – enrollment – grant – admission – attendance – truancy – credentials – score  – obligations – certificates of education – letters of recommendation – rite of passage – annual – assessment – prestigious – aptitude – MOOC – network – literacy …?

Each group must make a 5 minute video of some kind that illustrates or demonstrates one of the above questions. This video must be shareable in class. When I have seen the videos, I hope to have time to talk to each group individually, or with two groups together. Also, I will evaluate your work-in-progress and your scooping practise.

As I see this as a suggestion, I am willing to discuss new paths and learning objectives. I might have some nice entires on my «digitallearning» list on

Competence aims in English (for the entire course: International English): (UDIR)

Language and language learning

The aims of the studies are to enable pupils to

  • give an account of fundamental features of English usage and linguistic structure
  • give an account of fundamental principles for constructing texts in a variety of genres
  • analyse linguistic tools in different kinds of texts
  • give examples of other varieties of English than those that are used in the Anglo-American core area, and reflect on their distinctive character.


The aims of the studies are to enable pupils to

  • employ a nuanced, well-developed vocabulary – for both general and specialized use
  • understand, elaborate on and discuss lengthy discourses on general and specialized subjects
  • use language appropriate to the situation in social, professional and intercultural contexts
  • write coherent, well-structured texts on general, specialized and literary subjects
  • present technical material orally, in writing, or in the form of composite texts
  • use and communicate information based on figures and statistics
  • use digital tools in an independent, critical and creative manner in the gathering of information, and in the communication and presentation of his or her own material
  • give an account of and evaluate the use of sources

Culture, society and literature

The aims of the studies are to enable pupils to

  • locate, elaborate on and discuss international educational options and employment options
  • analyse and assess the role of some English-language media in international society
  • elaborate on and discuss various aspects of multicultural societies in the English-speaking world
  • reflect on how cultural differences and dissimilar value systems can affect communication
  • elaborate on and discuss a number of international and global challenges
  • elaborate on and discuss a selection of literature and factual prose from the period 1950 up to the present
  • analyse, elaborate on and discuss at least one lengthy literary work and one film
  • present a major in-depth project on a topic from International English or another subject from his or her own programme area and assess the process.

Stikkord: , , ,



Sur bibliotekskaffe


Akkompagnert av sur bibliotekskaffekopp har jeg i dag lest et blogginnlegg om «attention» og «sustained attention muscle». Som et ekko fra masterlesesalmakkerens insisterende Hold ut, unge Hernesvold! blir jeg med det konfrontert med egne oppmerksomhetsvaner. Jeg blir oppmuntret av at det benker seg noen unge studenter på bordene rundt meg og finner raskt ut at jeg vil forsøke å ta tiden på deres oppmerksomhets-rekkevidde. Jeg teller fra de holder munn og til de begynner å prate igjen.

Først må de holde munn, da.

«Bare å begynne  å jobbe», sier den ene. Han med capsen. Dette er lovende, tenker jeg. Kanskje de slett ikke er studenter. Kanskje de er studenter, men ikke har tenkt å studere.

I mellomtiden rekker jeg å finne fram noe mer stoff. I nevnte blogginnlegg skriver Barry Schwartz at oppmerksomhet og utholdenhet er noe vi må øve på, igjen og igjen. Det hjelper å ha et mål, men kanskje må vi også ha strategier for å holde oppmerksomheten rettet mot målet også. (Jeg skal vokte meg fra å komme med klamme paralleller til treningsstudio-opplegg he, men jeg synes å huske den piskende stemmen til spinninginstruktøren som roper «Er du på trening, eller trener du?»).

I klasserommet har jeg prøvd å dele inn i bolker på 20 minutter fordi jeg har antatt at det er så lenge elevene greier å holde fullt fokus. Det fungerer på et vis, men dersom jeg skal tro Schwartz, kan det hende vi lurer oss selv: dersom vi til stadighet organiserer oppmerksomheten i korte bolker, er det til slutt bare det vi kan. Vi venner oss til å tro at det forenklede er det vanlige. Men i en kompleks verden (klima! krig!) holder ikke det forenklede.

Vi er selvsagt på feil sted i dag;  her fylles opp av svulmende kanelboller og blide barnehagebarn. Jeg kan vedde en hundrings på at studentene ikke greier å komme i modus. Den ene, han uten capsen, gjør et forsøk.

Hva er mine oppmerksomhetsstrategier – på pc eller papir?

1. Jeg lager system av notatskriving. Før hadde jeg skrivebøker, nå bruker jeg helst Diigo reader dersom jeg får en lengre artikkel på nett. Jeg guler ut – all erfaring tilsier at jeg holder mye lengre når jeg skriver noe, enn når jeg bare leser.

2. Er artikkelen jeg leser lang, må jeg bestemme meg for at jeg skal ta ned tab-ene for Facebook og Twitter. Det skjer nemlig noe mystisk når en ny notification dukker opp. Jeg må se!

3. Jeg scooper stort sett alle artiklene jeg leser. Det tvinger meg til å tenke underveis, fordi jeg vet at jeg må skrive en innsiktskommentar. Har jeg ikke lest grundig nok, greier jeg heller ikke skrive, og må lese på nytt.

4. Jeg må fjerne andre distraksjoner, men av og til kan et jevnt bakteppe av lyd være vel så effektivt som total stillhet. En følelse av at flere jobber, er enda bedre.

5. På nett: bruk filtre. Ikke følg hvem og hva som helst, og evaluer til stadighet hva du har brukt tid og oppmerksomhet på. Brukt for lang tid på en avsporing? Eliminer den.

6. Jeg må ha et mål. Dersom det er snakk om stilretting, bestemmer jeg meg for hvor mange jeg vil ta, og tar pauser.

7. For jeg tar pauser. Jeg bruker mye energi på å skifte mellom fokus.

8. Jeg må stadig vende tilbake til det samme. I lærergjerningen er mye sånn «her og nå», «neste time», «fort ferdig». Jeg tror ganske bestemt at det kan være ødeleggende for den litt seigere utholdenheten. Når jeg nå skal skrive en eksamensbesvarelse, for eksempel, blir jeg nødt til å skjerpe meg igjen. Våge meg ut på dypet. Akseptere at ikke alt blir ferdig med en gang.

Han med capsen skal ha påfyll. Kompisen begynner å lese, ser det ut til. De har akkurat nevnt «bachelor», uten at jeg har fått med meg resten av samtalen, så noe må det være. Jepp, han holder i fem min.  Vil helst fortsette. Jeg hører ham si «It’s Learning» – et annet sikkert tegn. I neste setning høres imidlertid «FIFA», og jeg vet at slaget er tapt. De holder nok ikke ut. Skal vi tro Schwartz, utholdenhet faktisk en viktig predikator på suksess.

Schwartz er ikke spesielt optimistisk på vegne av MOOC-ene, heller: «And MOOCs, whatever their potential cost-saving benefits, enable students to watch presentations in brief snatches, perfect for the attentionally challenged, which in turn pressures instructors to organize their material in matching, bite-sized portions. We all let students bring their laptops into class, which virtually guarantees that they will be shuttling between email and web surfing while occasionally taking notes on what is being said. None of this is a recipe for strengthening the sustained attention muscle».

Dette er ikke det vi ønsker, selvsagt. For igjen – Schwartz anerkjenner jo at verden er kompleks og står overfor svært komplekse utfordringer. Vi kan ikke stenge teknologien ute i det bildet, men vi må kanskje tenke over hvordan vi former vår egen oppmerksomhet. Når jeg skal bidra i en MOOC i Smart læring, er nettopp attention et begrep jeg har lyst til å jobbe videre med. Det er kanskje et paradoks – eller?

På nabobordet har de fått opp bøkene ved siden av hver sin skjerm. Praten har stilnet. De sitter med hvert sitt. Det holder ei stund. Kanskje det er håp for dem likevel.

PS. Jeg leser Rheingold: Net Smart, som nevnt i tidligere innlegg. Han bruker mye tid på attention i første kapittel av boka si. Hans første råd er faktisk bare å begynne å bli oppmerksom på sin egen oppmerksomhet. Hva er din strategi?








Stikkord: ,


Én blogg, én gamer, mange unyttige tanker


Refleksjoner om skole og utdanning

Den digitale krukka

digitale hjelpemiddel i arbeid med elevar med store hjelpebehov

Digital profesjonsutvikling i engelskfaget

Praksiseksempler og refleksjoner


Undervisningstips jeg vil ta vare på


Oss i mellom, relasjoner og holdninger til hverandre

Using Civilization IV for Learning

Our experiences using the Civilization IV computer game to teach English, Norwegian and Social Science.

Connected Teaching and Learning

Education, school leadership, lesson plans, technology

Thinking Out Loud

exploring connected learning

Magnushs's Blog

Jeg skal bare si én ting, også lover jeg å holde kjeft. Ok?

Lena's (soon to be) digital classroom

A teacher/student's path towards digital competence in English


Det er viktig å satsa litt


Hvordan bli smartere med smart læring


Some of thoughts on Education and the vagaries of politicians and managers.


mine tankar om skule og framtid


Realfagsundervisning og digitale tjenester

En høyskolelærers bekjennelser

Tor Haugnes betraktninger og gjøremål i bestrebelsene med å inspirere flest mulig studenter til å tilegne seg kunnskap om dagens samfunn!